“Ghostbusters” on IMDB
Fantasy/Comedy, 116 Minutes, 2016
Dealing with the gorilla in the room first, this is a reboot of the 1984 original Ghostbusters [IMDB]. This seems to have annoyed a very specific type of very vocal person. It stars women, which seems to annoy a different very specific type of very vocal person.
“Odd Thomas” on IMDB
Thriller/Mystery/Horror, 97 Minutes, 2013
[Personal Note: my wife and I finished this movie and, as you’ll see, enjoyed it thoroughly. I began writing the review and, a short while later, learned that Anton Yelchin had died. Considering the subject matter of the film, this created some eerie sensations to say the least. He was a damn good actor and seemed like a damn fine human.]
“As Above, So Below” on IMDB
Horror/Drama, 93 Minutes, 2014
Found-footage is a genre that just won’t die. The well is fouled and rank, but Directors keep dipping in, audiences keep lapping it up and, yes, I keep reviewing them. Gimmicks distract, even when used well, and this is one gimmick that’s run it’s course. It does nothing positive for this movie. We get video from handheld cams, helmet cams, body cams and, like all found-footage, impossible cams.
“Poltergeist” on IMDB
Horror/Thriller, 93 Minutes, 2015
When I previously reviewed The Whole Damn Poltergeist Franchise, I lamented the sad decline of the sequels, but marveled at how well the first movie has held up. It’s a classic that remains just as effective today as it did 30 years ago. There is no earthly reason to remake it.
I was 11 years old in 1982 when “Poltergeist” came out. Not only does that make me very old now, but it also means that that the MPAA hadn’t gone quite as monkey-slapping-crazy as they are now and gave this movie a PG rating. Tobe Hooper [IMDB] and Stephen Spielberg [IMDB] could have easily gone for a hard “R” (studios still hadn’t decided to be horribly afraid of it). Instead they tossed out one of the hands-down scariest experiences of my childhood and still brought it in with a PG.
“The Conjuring” on IMDB
Horror, 112 Minutes, 2013
The movie is based on the reports of noted paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. It presents them as learned, respected and heroic. They were none of these things. None of their evidence has ever stood up to investigation, and none of their claims have ever been confirmed. Most of their cases, such as the famous Amityville Horror, have been thoroughly debunked as hoaxes and the rest are highly explainable.
“The Road” on IMDB
Horror, 110 Minutes, 2011
[This is the ninth selection in my irregular, “My Wife and Kids are Visiting Relatives and I’m Home Watching Movies” film festival.]
“Mama” on IMDB
Horror, 100 Minutes, 2013:
[This is the third selection in my irregular, “My Wife and Kids are Visiting Relatives and I’m Home Watching Movies” film festival.]
“Dark Feed” on IMDB
Horror, 86 Minutes, 2013
There are few clichés more common in horror than the haunted, abandoned hospital. Unless it’s a low-budget film crew using the haunted, abandoned hospital, that is. “Dark Feed” has both.
“Insidious” on IMDB
Horror, 103 Minutes, 2010
With almost no tweaking this could easily be a remake of “Poltergeist” [IMDB]. Although the haunted house angle (which was completely superfluous to begin with) is abandoned early the plot has all the same touch-points. Josh and Renai’s son, Dalton, enters into an unexplained coma that appears more like normal sleep than anything medical. Surrounding this are terrifying visions and things that go bump-in-the-night.